Sun to Red Sea Rally
18th June 2002
Day 16 -
Damascus (Syria) to Amman (Jordan)
SUMPS - HONDA LOST IN THE WOODS SPINNING CORTINAS - MUSTANG
A fast run to the border
and into Jordan. Different, brighter and busier and wealthier
with a Regularity in the only forest in Jordan.
And here is something
completely novel! Check into our hotel and come out in the
cool of the evening to do two more tests in the middle of
Amman, the nation's capital. Two runs in the stadium 5,000
spectators there to cheer you on.
Two runs over the 10
km forest stage in Jordan produced high dramas.
Event leader Joe McAndrew was late booking into the control
collecting a 2 minute penalty and then took a wrong turn and
went 2 km off route incurring a stage maximum. He retains
the event lead but his errors have reduced his lead from eleven
and a half minutes to 6m 41secs.
James Inglebey’s Mustang caught fire on the start line. Other
competitors in the line-up used seven fire extinguishers to
put out the fierce under-bonnet flames. James is busy hoping
to replace burnt-out wiring in time for the morning re-start.
The first run over the stage was won by the 1600cc Toyota
of Graham Lorimer and Jenny Brittan giving them their first
stage win of the event.
“It was a lumpy wheel-spinning gravel stage, a bit reminiscent
of Africa which is where I do most of my rallying these days
so I felt quite at home," said a smiling Lorimer, well pleased
with his efforts.
The second run was won by the monster V8 Monaro of Keith and
Mary-Ann Callinan – two cars at totally different ends of
the power and size spectrum.
Andy Pidden and Mike Cotter in their Cortina executed a neat
180 degree spin and wound up stalled and facing in the wrong
direction. Mike jumped out and waved down the oncoming car.
Unable to restart the engine they push started it in reverse
and ran backwards until they found space to turn on the narrow
Peter Swire in his Astra, unable to find traction off the
line stalled 50 metres into the stage and had to be towed
to safety. “Our first gear ratio is far too high and it just
won’t do the right thing on uphill gravel starts,”said a still
smiling Swire. “Are the desert stage tomorrow all on the flat
Peter Cochrane’s co-driver Richard Anderson described the
Mustang’s handling through this tight stage as, “a bit like
trying to change the direction of a lead-tipped arrow.”
Steve Blunt lost his way in a cloud of his own dust
in a half spin and clobbered a rock that put a hole in his
sump. They made it to the end of the stage where their mechanics
quickly tipped the car onto two wheels, servicing it Laurel
and Hardy style, to get at the sump and plugged the hole with
epoxy 2-pack and sent it into the second stage of the day.
The repair worked and they posted 4th fastest time to secure
their fourth place on the leader board.
The computer in Nik Berg’s little Prius took control when
the car was wheel spinning in a rut and the message it sent
to the engine was something like ….I don’t like this, I don’t
want to play any more.
So co-driver Tim Bampton got out and pushed while the Volvo
of Tom Hayes and Andy Vann overtook them.
So McAndrew still leads with Richard Martin-Hurst in second
and Graham Lorimer has vaulted up into third place.
Tomorrow competitors face their first true desert stages –
something none of them have experienced before – so they will
be out there playing Lawrence of Arabia on wheels, worrying
about wheelspin and Wadis. more...